- About Us
Joe E. WinnJanuary 3, 1933 ~ September 21, 2017 (age 84)
Joe E. Winn Jan. 3, 1933-Sept. 21, 2017
Dad was born at the old Darling Place, 1 ½ mi. west of Overstreet School on January 3, 1933, the first of four children, to J.B. & Evelyn (Dolezal) Winn. Dad was born feet first & weighed 12 lbs. at that. We always credited Grandma Bertha Winn for saving dad just in time, because he was already turning blue.
Grandpa J.B. took employment at Hardtner, KS for a time, so dad attended his first two years of school while there. The family then moved back to Slapout where dad began 3rd grade at Overstreet.
Dad had the life habit of going the distance with little complaint. He knew the hardships of the Dust Bowl & having many meals of prairie dog & beans, surviving whooping cough as a child & then spinal meningitis in early high school. He wasn’t supposed to be walking & yet, he was out playing football.
Grandpa J.B. ran a harvest crew for about 10 years, one year he fell seriously ill & was unable to take the harvest crew north to Montana, so, it fell on dad’s shoulders to take the lead. Community men Burl Brown, Elmer Wooley & perhaps some others came along side to help dad, because at 15 he was too young to have his drivers’ license. That particular year it was up to dad to feed the 7 mouths in the household, go to school & play football too, but he did it.
When dad was 16 the harvest crew was in Colorado & it was time to start their own farming, so Grandpa put dad on the tractor & sent him home. Dad stopped in Montrose, where some guy loaned him the money to enter the rodeo & by winning the bull riding he had the money for the trip home. The first night on the road a dirt storm came & covered over dad’s sleeping bag. The second night was spent in a church in Hardesty, OK. But the little black ants marching across the pews promptly sent dad on his way again. The sun was just coming up as dad was crossing the Kiowa Creek Bridge 3 miles west of Slapout. The journey from Colorado had taken 2 ½ days & dad said he was never so glad to be home.
Dad went on to graduate with the LHS class of 1951. He was very athletic & received three full ride football scholarships, but more years of school wasn’t dad’s first choice, so he declined it. I might add that dad may not have pursued higher education, but he artistically mastered penmanship. I’ve been told that people hated to cash checks he wrote them because they put a higher value on the autograph.
Dad held various jobs after high school graduation, but rodeo was a passion. Dad & Duane Hennigh were constant competitors throughout the region. Dad won a belt buckle in Dodge City the time he beat Duane in the bareback riding. Eventually Duane outscored dad & won the right to complete in Madison Square Garden.
Mom, & dad’s sister Francine, struck up a friendship which eventually brought her into contact with dad. He was known to sneak the two girls into the rodeo by putting them in the trunk of his car, a slick, black new Ford as mom recalls. Dad got permission from Carl Hayes, who was mom's somewhat steady guy at the time, to take her on a date & eventually my parents married on May 15, 1954.
Uncle Sam drafted dad in February 1956, & after basic training he was then stationed in Germany. Mom wrote to him every day & those letters are still bound up tight in that red box. With time mom flew over & joined him, henceforth, the reason I’m known in the family as a little German souvenir. At one time dad even considered re-enlisting & becoming a paratrooper. Even though spinal meningitis had taken a toll on dad, he was still one of the few who could carry the weight & go the extra distance in the army. In all dad served his country for six years & was honorably discharged in February 1962.
My parents came back stateside before I was born in 1958. The folks moved onto what we call the Home Place, where Guy & Bertha Winn had homesteaded since 1928. The farm had been vacant for some time , so the rebuilding began. Farming, milking cows, driving a salt water truck, hauling hay, & rough necking were jobs dad held down to keep food on the table for our growing family, as Justin was born in 1962 & Jayson in 1967. And somewhere in the middle of it all dad found time to build the foundation, block by block, down on the river, for the old Disney house that had been purchased for $1000.
Through the years dad had a goal, & that was to build a cattle operation. Dad loved the land & everything about it. He enjoyed the quiet country life, but if you ever did get him to public gathering, he’d be the last one to leave. Dad was sure in his mindsets & had two speeds – whoa & slow. He tried to get along, respect others, & be honest in his dealings. He loved rodeo, elk hunting & a good cup of coffee. Dad always pulled for the underdog & was patient far more than most, especially with us kids. Working with dad when I was younger taught me discernment. Because dad had the tendency to carefully mull over his words, his breathing would change right before he spoke, so I learned to patiently listen & sense change.
Dad was a quiet man, a deep thinker who didn’t always use words to get his point across. The last time dad shaved was September 25, 1976- the day of my wedding. It took me years to figure out that this was his unspoken wager that his beard would outlast my marriage, even though he’d told Wayne, “Don’t bring her back.” Dad grinned when I finally asked, but he never confessed a thing. So, for over 20 years, on Sept.25th, I’d call & wish dad’s beard a happy anniversary, his beard would have been 41 years old today.
One of dad’s earliest moments is the sound of the wind blowing around the corner of the Darling House. A hard wind blowing wears on mother’s nerves, but to dad it was just calming memory from a simpler time in childhood.
Dad was an active member of the NRA and the American Legion Post 273 & firmly believed in the rights of freedom that he & other servicemen contended for.
I mentioned before that dad had the life habit of going the distance with little complaint, we now know that he had been battling cancer for years & only spoke up when the pain became so unbearable the last few weeks. Even in dying at the age of 84 ½ , dad made the determination to do it his way & go the distance. Dad wasn’t raised in a church-going family, so things of this nature weren’t foremost on his agenda. Numerous ones in the community & family lovingly came & visited with him, & we firmly believe that in the end dad settled up with the Lord & received Jesus.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents J.B. & Evelyn Winn, in-laws Fred & Artie Neihart, & one son Justin Winn. Dad survived by his wife Carol (Miki) of 63 years, of the home in rural Slapout, one daughter Kellye Daniel & husband Wayne of Laverne, one son Jayson & wife Fran of Follett, TX; sister Janet Dalton & husband Richard Flippen of McAlester, OK; four grandchildren: Stephanie Bond & husband Darren Bond of Buffalo, OK, Jason R. Winn & wife Tara of Wichita, KS, Heather Daniel of Ringwood, Ok, & Serenity Young of Canyon, TX; three great-grandchildren & countless other relatives & friends.
A special thanks to Faith Hospice for enabling dad to fulfill his firm desire to remain at home during his last days.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Overstreet School House at Rt. 2 Box 96, Laverne, OK 73848.
Overstreet School House
RT.2 Box 96, Laverne OK 73848